Davis laments poor volleyball continuity
Jamaica Under-19 men’s team coach Steve Davis has said that he cannot get overly excited about the development and future of his players if the structural approach to local volleyball does not change.
Despite concerns over a lack of preparation leading into the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Youth Volleyball tournament at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport last week, Jamaica dismissed Trinidad in a 3-1 sets (19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-14) win in the third-place play-off to take bronze. Damion Smith was named Best Opposite Hitter and Best Scorer, while 13-year-old Devaun Clarke was given the Best Digger award.
“I am happy for the kid who is playing in his first tournament, and to walk away with a medal and three sectional prizes [is good],” Davis, who led Jamaica to the title in 2015, said.
“Over the years, that is what has been happening: we come up with a promising set of kids, but for some reason, we can’t seem to keep them together and build on what we have started. What tends to happen is that a short time before another competition, we put some kids together and do something. However, to my mind, we can’t continue in this way. We have to think about the future and have a continuous programme which is going to help to mold the players in a progressive way if we want to become more competitive, not only in the Caribbean either,” he added.
Davis, who is also a lecturer at G.C. Foster, is hoping the necessary programmes will be put in place from the primary-school level all the way up to the senior level, to see volleyball grow islandwide.
“To start with the clubs, the club structure is really limited,” he said. “We start a club league in February, and by May, it’s finished, and the teams playing are really centred in the Corporate Area. When you look at the high schools, it’s basically the same thing, with more primary schools now playing volleyball than even high schools. In St Ann, we have 32 primary schools playing volleyball. Lyssons Primary (from St Thomas) has been the most successful since we have started the primary-school programme, and we don’t have a high school, with the exception of Yallahs, now that’s playing volleyball in St Thomas.
“We need a national programme with some structure so we have a good primary-school programme through the entire spread of the country, and we need this for the high schools, as well.”